For several years The Citizens Campaign has been building a broad network of citizen journalists to fill the void in local news coverage left by retreating legacy media.
Gone are the days of fully staffed city bureaus with in-depth coverage of the entire community. What has emerged in its place is a dynamic, innovative news ecosystem that favors online media and a more collaborative newsgathering approach. This new landscape has opened up a host of opportunities for citizen journalists to tell the stories of the people and the places in their city.
To capitalize on these new opportunities the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation supported the development of a City Storytellers program to focus on reporting stories of citizen leadership and civic innovation. We currently have seven city bureaus in Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Trenton, Perth Amboy, Paterson, Newark, and Jersey City.
Visit The Playbook to read the latest from our City Storytellers.
Meet the City Storytellers
Jersey City Bureau
They may hail from four different neighborhoods in Jersey City, but they share one common vision -- telling the stories of the people, the places and the policies impacting Jersey City. From left to right, the Jersey City Storytellers Bureau includes Ricardo Kaulessar, Joel Maffei, Joseph Galbo and Hanalei Ramos. For more from the Jersey City Bureau check out their Tumblr page, FocalPointJC.
Our Trenton Bureau is comprised of four individuals who bring extensive experience and expertise to the service of their City.Our team includes two filmmakers, a talk show host and a professional journalist - each of whom volunteers their time and their voice on behalf of the people of Trenton. As the saying goes, "Trenton Makes, The World Takes." From left to right the Trenton City Storytellers are: Delonte Harrod, Samuel Kanig, Steve Chernoski and Crystal Feliciano.
With an eye on the past, the present and tomorrow -- our Newark City Storytellers each offer a unique perspective of Brick City. Working together, our Newark City Storytellers are showing the world what Newark was and what Newark has the potential to be, through the lens of the people and places that make the city great. Our Newark City Storytellers are, from left to right, Jacqueline Butterfield, Laureen Delance and Jane Lopez.
Perth Amboy Bureau
Perth Amboy is one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in New Jersey, and so is its City Storyteller Bureau. We found three passionate residents who love their city and our committed to telling the story of its people and their city. From left to right the Perth Amboy City Storytellers are Donna Stewart, Joel Reyes and Isahony "Isa" Shaida.
Since 2010 The Citizens Campaign has owned and operated the news site Paterson Press, with award-winning Editor Joe Malinconico at the helm. Joining the Paterson Press team are Antoinette Brevard and Brian Lorio, who want to focus their pen and lens on the people that make Paterson great.
Atlantic City Bureau
Atlantic City is a city in transition and our City Storytellers are there to report from the frontlines. Both Erin O'Hanlon and George Loza are committed to telling the stories of the people of Atlantic City who are the backbone of the city. Check out their aptly titled blog, AdaptiveAC to hear stories of leadership and transformation.
Asbury Park Bureau
Asbury Park is another city currently undergoing a major transformation. Our Asbury Park Bureau is comprised of Jennifer Lewinski and Sarah Thoma who are both passionate about public service. Their bureau is currently working on showcasing the people who are the unsung heroes of Asbury Park.